16 Suffolk towns to get rapid Covid test facilities - here's where

There are fears Essex will go into Tier three restrictions Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

16 new community testing facilities will open in Suffolk in the next fortnight - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Nine new Covid-19 testing sites for those who don't display symptoms are being established in the next week in Suffolk, with a further seven in the days following.

Friday's local outbreak engagement board meeting of community leaders confirmed that 16 community testing facilities were in the pipeline, nine of which will be established in the week ahead.

Covid-19 rapid testing centres targeting people who unwittingly have the virus are to open in Haverhill and Lowestoft

Rapid Covid-19 tests give a result within an hour - Credit: Suffolk Resilience Forum

Those to open next week are as follows:

  • Monday February 22: Framlingham Fire Station, Nayland Fire Station
  • Tuesday February 23: Brandon Church Institute
  • Wednesday February 24: Elmswell Community Centre, Needham Market Community Centre
  • Thursday February 25: Beccles Blyburgate Hall, Holbrook Village Hall
  • Friday February 26: Hadleigh United Reformed Church, Halesworth Rifle Hall

A further seven will open from the week commencing March 1 as follows:

  • Monday March 1: Eye Town Hall, Bungay Honeypot Community Centre
  • Tuesday March 2: Woodbridge The Longshed
  • Wednesday March 3: Saxmundham Market Hall, Southwold Stella Peskett Millennium Hall
  • Thursday March 4: Aldeburgh St Peter and St Paul's Church
  • Friday March 5: Debenham Sport and Leisure Centre

According to public health bosses, people in Suffolk are now on average only a 12 minute drive away from a test centre, with that journey time set to come down as more centres open.

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Those sites are aimed at people who do not display any Covid-19 symptoms but cannot work from home, and are encouraged to get tested twice a week.

Richard Cracknell from Suffolk County Council said: "We know around one in three people with Covid do not display symptoms and community testing, or rapid testing as its known, is a part of Suffolk's local response in stopping the spread of Covid among our communities."

We tried to book a Covid-19 test online and this is what happened. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The new rapid testing facilities will join existing test centres in Suffolk - Credit: Archant

The new test sites join the three large hubs already established in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft, and the satellite locations in Haverhill, Newmarket, Felixstowe, Ipswich, Stowmarket, Lowestoft, Martlesham and Sudbury.

A mobile testing team is operating out of locations where outbreaks have been identified, while employers for key workers or high risk locations are being supported to set up their own testing facilities.

The test involves a swab of the nostrils and throat, and takes around 15 minutes. The tests are free and rapid results are sent by email or text within around an hour.

Sites are open seven days a week between 7am and 6pm.

Visit the website here or call 0333 772 6144 to book a test.